Skip to main content

Full text of "Verdict On India"

See other formats

12                                        VEBDICT  OX IXDIA.

were even, 'unseeable/ and must hide themselves by day, only
coming out when there were clouds over the moon.

If these 60 million  (nearly equal to the total white population
of the British Empire)  were regarded by their own brethren as
a good deal lower than the lowest animals, how eould they be
described, by a Westerner, as * Indians' ? They could not both be
Indians. Or could they ? It was all very puzzling.1

Let us leave the Hindus for a moment and turn to the Muslims,
How many of them ? Nearly 100 million. And we do not have to
ask them if they are Indians, for they are shouting it at the top
of their voices. " We are India !' they cry. ftWe are the only race,
apart from the British, who have ever established a great Indian
Empire ! And we want our Empire back ! It may not be an
Empire of all India  (though some of us have our own ideas
about what we shall do when we have the power)  but at least it
will be Muslim. It will be as free as we can make it from the
taint of Hinduism, which is not only a different religion, but a
different culture, a different social system. And this Empire we
shall call Pakistan ! "

Pakistan ! Pakistan ! AYhat does it mean  this strange unborn
Empire that exists only in the form of a dream ? Later on, we
shall try to analyse it : in the meantime it is enough to note that
the cry of * Pakistan' threatens to clrown all others in the Indian

So if the Muslims are 'Indians/ it would seem that the Hindus
are not. And if the Hindus are * Indians' it would seem that the
Muslims are not. These vast bodies of men are so acutely con-
scious of their differences that they not only refuse to eat together
or think together, or pray together, they refuse even to live in the
same unit of territory. They want their own geography as well as
their own history ; they want their own earth as well as their own
heaven. On the lips of the vast majority of them such a phrase as
Civis Indianus sum would sound grotesque,

1 In spite of the much publicized declarations of 3tr. Gandhi and the strenuous
of their leader. Dr. Ambedkar, to say nothing of British legislation, the
of the Untouchables m India is still almost as deplorable as it has always